Even putting Blount’s strange vision aside, after leaving college, he became known as perhaps the most singularly devoted musician in Birmingham. He rarely slept, citing Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, and Napoleon as fellow highly productive cat-nappers. He transformed the first floor of his family’s home into a conservatory-workshop where he wrote songs, transcribed recordings, rehearsed with the many musicians who were nearly constantly drifting in and out, and discussed Biblical and esoteric concepts with whomever was interested.
Blount became a regular at Birmingham’s Forbes Piano Company, a white-owned company which—astoundingly for a business in the Deep South—simply ignored the strict Jim Crow laws of the racially segregated era. Blount visited the Forbes building almost daily to play music, swap ideas with staff and customers, or copy sheet music into his notebooks. He formed a new band, and, like his old teacher Whatley, insisted on rigorous daily rehearsals. The new Sonny Blount Orchestra earned a reputation as an impressive, disciplined band that could play in a wide variety of styles with equal skill.