Conch-shell blowing is a long tradition in the ‘Conch Republic’ of the Florida Keys. According to the winner of this year’s annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest in Key West, success involves more than just “the lips and cheek muscles, it comes from the heart and soul.”

The Conch King, Lloyd Mager, holds a day job as a humble bicycle tour operator. Though he won in 2007 as well as this year, Mager better keep his day job: Conch music is downright awful. Choose the ‘Listen Now’ player link to hear the winneron NPR.

The competition ranged from the very young to the very old. Quality, novelty, duration and volume of their Conch-concerts were all taken into account during the contest. In the group category, an 18-piece “conchestra” blew their shells while dancing.