The Birmingham Times
The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and Urban Impact are awarding the first Star on the Alabama Walk of Fame to Henry Otto Blankenship on July 1 at 4 p.m. at 1725 3rd Ave North.
It is the first time in more than three decades that a Star has been awarded.
The recognition highlights the trumpeter and Irish tenor’s significant contributions and impact on the Alabama Entertainment industry. Blankenship performed with legendary stars such as Lou Rawls, Lionel Hampton, Erskine Hawkins, and Amos Gordon.
Blankenship was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in October 1981. He graduated from A.H. Parker High School and Hampton Institute. He received critical acclaim for his professional recording, “I’ve Only Myself to Blame.”
“Our family is honored and humbled by this recognition,” said Lucien Blankenship, Henry’s youngest son. “We are beyond proud to witness such prestigious recognition for my father’s life and musical talents.”
Mayor Randall Woodfin, City Councilman Darrell O’Quinn, along with other city leaders and prominent figures from the Birmingham entertainment community will attend the ceremony.
The Blankenship family will unveil the star during the dedication ceremony. The event will feature a celebratory atmosphere with resolutions and comments from area dignitaries, a performance by the Birmingham Heritage Band and a Jam Session hosted by Jose Carr.
The star on the Alabama Walk of Fame solidifies Blankenship’s legacy as a major contributor to Alabama’s rich entertainment history.
The Alabama Walk of Fame was created to honor famous Alabamians in a fashion similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The original idea was suggested by Michael Gene Pierce. It is composed of stars of rose-colored marble in the sidewalk located on the south side of 3rd Avenue North, between 18th Street North and 19th Street North.