Clinton Curry says no talent is needed to blow a conch shell. As long as you can pucker your lips together and blow, you are quite set to go. With half a million views, one could say that Clinton Curry is a bonafide conch shell blower. In the musical circles, musicians such as Steve Turre blew his fair share of the conch shell. The shell has been incorporated into Jazz sessions. All we need is Mary Ann to make one of her famous coconut pies!
The tradition of blowing a conch shell in the Florida Keys began centuries ago. In the 1800s, when the local economy was largely based on salvaging cargoes from ships wrecked on the nearby reef, sailors attracted attention by blowing piercing blasts on the shell.
“There wasn’t a ship that went out that didn’t have at least one conch shell on it for communications,” said veteran contest winner Clinton Curry. Here, Curry offers conch shell-blowing tips for aspiring “pucker pros.”
The Annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest in Key West celebrates the historical importance of conch shells. Conch shells were used as fog horns by sailors and as means of communication by the Calusa Indians. The Florida Keys are often called the Conch Republic as a tribute to the centuries-long tradition of using conch shells.