On the Air: Haines Ely, KVMR broadcaster Since 1987, RIP | TheUnion.com

On the Air: Haines Ely, KVMR broadcaster Since 1987, RIP

Special to Prospector

For more than 30 years, Haines Ely was one of the slyest of rabble rousers and blues broadcasters at KVMR 89.5 FM.

Ely, who had hosted a pair of shows since the late 1980s, passed away last month. His wife Jennifer and family recently publicly announced it in the obituary below .

Haines is still another of the community radio station’s one-of-a-kind broadcasters. His show was unique, sometimes right on the mark, sometimes purposely off it, but that was Haines.

As the obituary below notes, Ely loved to assist his listeners in “pulling the wool over their own eyes.”

That, he did, indeed. No mask needed.

Listeners were attracted to him, no matter how he may have variated from mainstream mentality. He could be out there … and then some … with a wickedly delightful sense of fun and purpose.

And those monthly blues shows were scorching — one of his last Sunday blues programs will air on an upcoming Sunday 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. “Blues Spectrum” time slot on KVMR 89.5 FM and kvmr.org streaming.


With sharp wit and an unparalleled sense of humor, P. Haines Ely, MD (known fondly as Haines) passed away at his home in Fair Oaks on March 9. He was struck by a meteor.

In his company were his beloved wife, Jennifer, his four children (Sims, Rebecca, Meredith and Tess), and his (spirit) animals, Connor and Abigail.

Haines was a foundational character in each of his communities. An expert in dermatopathology, Dr. Ely was an accomplished practitioner, medical board member, convention keynote speaker and award-winning professor (UC Davis Medical School).

Since 1986, Haines was “the dermatologist who loves the blues” at our local radio station, KVMR. He filled our homes with moving tunes in his monthly blues show and hosted “The Earth Mysteries Show,” during which he assisted his listeners in “pulling the wool over their own eyes.”

Born in Washington D.C. on Sept. 19, 1945 to Marica McCann Ely and Northcutt Ely, Haines learned the art of (facetious) social engagement from his older identical twin brothers, Michael and Craig.

He developed a unique work ethic from his father who was an active lawyer well into his 90s, having argued before the Supreme Court seven times and having held various Presidential appointments. Haines attended St. Alban’s School for boys before heading out west to play soccer and lead the Alpha Delta Phi as fraternity president at Stanford University (1967).

After graduating from Keck School of Medicine of USC with a Medical Doctorate (1971, 1972-75 residency in Dermatology), Dr. Ely discovered the Bowel Bypass Syndrome in 1975, winning accolades for his innovative clinical research. He was also a savvy and highly ethical businessman, owning private dermatology practices in Roseville, then Grass Valley.

Seeing upwards of 60 patients per day, he felt a personal responsibility to make medical skincare affordable, preaching “Fast nickels are better than slow dimes!” He was proud to be an active attending physician at VA Mather in Sacramento and a telemedicine practitioner through his final days.

Haines’s unmatched charisma and generous spirit made him life-long friends everywhere he went. His passions included fishing, collecting and tumbling rocks, golfing, gardening, (im)practical joking, appreciating music, exaggerating his children’s accomplishments, glimpsing the metaphysical, and of course, medicine.

Within each of these spheres, Haines developed a community and built lasting relationships with the people around him.

We will celebrate Haines with live music and friends this summer in Nevada City. Please visit hainesely.com to learn more about the one and only Haines Ely, to share your fondest memories, and for event details as they develop.

On The Air is a weekly look at Nevada City’s eclectic community radio station at 89.5 FM and streaming at kvmr.org A second stream features indie pop and a younger sound at kvmrx.org and the station now has a second over-the-air signal at 105.7 FM for NPR and Pacifica programming by day and KVMRx by night and weekend afternoons. Further information is at kvmr.org.

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