June 28, 2013

Longtime radio personality retires

PLATTSBURGH — Is it just me, or is Ducky Drake really retiring?

Yup, he is.

After 45 years in the radio business, the versatile Drake is hanging up his microphone. Today is his last day at WIRY 1340 radio station.

“I don’t think I will miss the day-to-day stuff, but I will miss the people,” he said during a break this week. “The people I work with and the people I see on a daily basis.”


Drake, 64, came to Plattsburgh in 1971 by accident.

The native of Barre, Vt., was on his way back home from an interview at a radio station in Auburn, near Syracuse, when he got lost in downtown Plattsburgh on the way to the ferry.

He noticed WEAV radio station on Margaret Street and decided to stop in to ask for directions and to see what that station was all about.

“A week later, they had an opening, and I got the job,” he said.


He worked at WEAV as the morning disc jockey until 1983, when he joined WIRY, also in the morning slot, awakening at 3:30 a.m. Monday through Friday to report for work.

“I’ve been getting up way too early for way too long,” he laughed.

In 1985, he deviated from his deejay duties when he was assigned to cover the murder trial of Michael Murphy, a high-profile local case involving the murder of a 10-year-old boy.

That’s when the news bug hit Drake.

He did news items sporadically over the years until he became the main reporter for WIRY in 1998.

“I had been around a while, and I knew a lot of people, and I just figured I could do it,” he said.


Perhaps Drake’s best contribution to the local news scene were his commentaries with the aforementioned “Is It Just Me?” title.

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