Slab and Eugene

Slab Slabinski, left, and Eugene Slabinski at the U.S. Air Force Pararescue Reunion in Long Island, New York, in 2012.

This week’s curator for “What’s on your playlist?” is Slab Slabinski, longtime host of KMUN’s “Short Attention Span Radio,” which plays from 10 p.m. to midnight every other Monday.

Slabinski started volunteering for KMUN after he retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2002. He celebrated his 18th anniversary of volunteering with KMUN in early November.

“There’s literally nothing I won’t play,” Slabinski said. “I play every genre of music, spoken word, industrial noise, humpback whale recordings … You name it, I’ll play it.”

Slabinski recently dedicated one of his shows to his father, Eugene “E.J.” Slabinski, who died in June.

“He was the one who really got me into music and just the love of music. He got me into classical music, opera, a lot of the 1940s and 1950s swing bands and old country, things like that,” Slabinski said. “He gave me a love of music so I wanted to give him something back and let everybody know what he was about.”

Here are Slabinski’s song recommendations. Each song is inspired by his father.

“I played a lot of fun songs because he was very young at heart. He loved hanging out with his grandkids and his great grandkids,” Slabinski said. “He loved to laugh and he loved to make everyone laugh. I want to share that with everyone.”

1. “Sanford and Son Theme (The Streetbeater)” by Quincy Jones

2. “Hogan’s Heroes Theme” by Jerry Fielding

“He loved those TV shows. He would imitate those characters in the shows all the time,” Slabinski said.

3. “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” by Frankie Yankovic

“He had polka playing all the time so I grew up listening to polka,” Slabinski said.

4. “Tennessee Waltz” by Patti Page

Eugene Slabinski served in the military for 28 years. One of his friends who he met while in the U.S. Air Force requested “Tennessee Waltz” for his son’s show.

“He and Dad remained friends for over 70 years. My dad stood up for him for his naturalization ceremony when he became a U.S. citizen. They talked to each other every week,” Slabinski said. “They had just talked, the week Dad passed … The song reminds me of (my dad) and Mom dancing to it.”

5. “Capriccio Italien, Op. 45 TH 47” by Leonard Bernstein

“It told a story. It’s hard to explain but it’s like a story of his life — growing up, going into the service, meeting Mom and then retiring,” Slabinski said. “It’s a 16-minute piece.”

6. “One Piece At A Time” by Johnny Cash

“He could make anything out of nothing,” Slabinski said. “If he couldn’t find something, he could make it. In the house, we have a lamp that he made out of an ivy, coal, a couple of ashtrays and a bedpan. He was a pretty crafty fellow.”

7. “Songbird” by Eva Cassidy

“Growing up, he always had music going, even until the very end. Every now and again he’d be singing,” Slabinski said. “I loved her version of that song.”

8. “Young At Heart” by Frank Sinatra

“He was a kid at heart. He was 90 when he passed but nothing slowed him down. His health wasn’t the best but he still would volunteer at the local V.A. hospital. When he finally had to stop going in because of COVID, and this was in March, he had almost 17,000 hours. And this was all basically in a hospice unit. He had his RN license for 50 years and renewed it for the last time last year,” Slabinski said.

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