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Musicians compete in FL conch blowing contest

March 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A Key West musician took the top prize in the Florida city's 49th annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest.

Steve Gibson out-puckered the rest with a rendition of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" and Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water."

The top group entry was a self-described "conchestra," whose 24 members pulled off a conch-shell accompaniment and synchronized dance routine to a recording of Abba's "Dancing Queen."

Blowing the conch shell has been a Key West tradition since the early 1800s, when seafaring settlers used it as a signaling device. The shell of the mollusk is a symbol of the Florida Keys, often called the Conch Republic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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