This is one of the few songs you'll hear with a whistle for a lead instrument. It was inspired by Junkanoo music, which is heard in the Bahamas and other Caribbean islands during parades and other celebrations. The music is lively and fun, with lots of whistles and shouting.
Harry Wayne Casey was based in Miami, where he was working for TK Records and managing the soul artist Timmy Thomas, when he came up with the idea. In a Songfacts interview with Casey
, he told the story: "I booked him on a show with Rare Earth at the Capital Centre in Washington DC, and that night, all these kids were blowing whistles and stuff in the audience. Prior to going to that show, I'd been to a wedding and they hired a group of guys called The Mighty Junkanoo Band. I don't know if you've ever been to the Bahamas or anywhere where they have Junkanoo music, but it's very infectious. It's very percussive horns and whistles. I always thought it would be great to capture that sound, so when I saw those whistles I remembered, and I came back and wrote this song called 'Blow Your Whistle.'
I went to the studio and I hired the local studio guys that worked at TK, and then I brought in the Mighty Junkanoo Band to play on the record."