Community mourns loss of incredibly talented musician and Civil Rights trailblazer

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ZANESVILLE – Stanley Morse passed away at 88-year-old in Alliance, OH, from complications linked to the Corona Virus. Morse was very much a man of God and helped his father build the Wings of Hope Tabernacle Church on Lee Street which opened in 1947. He was a very gifted jazz trombone player, so much so, that, at age 16, he turned down the opportunity to join superstar Duke Ellington’s orchestra.

“I don’t care what musical group he was with, I don’t care what job he had, he always let his faith and his musical background in the church shine through but he was multi-talented. He could play any type of music. He was a great jazz trombonist. Oh my, he was just amazing,” Morse’s niece Carlotta Workman said.

Morse wasn’t only notable for his musicianship, but also, his contributions for helping to break the color barrier in the world of music nearly thirty years before the Civil Rights Movement. This led some to call him the “Booker T. Washington” of Zanesville.

“Once the Zanesvillians had to bite the bullet and accept him, he made a change and Stanley was very very educated and hard to cross or united the barrier. He done it very well,” long-time friend Gabriel R. Weatherspoon said.

Morse’s second wife, Margaret, passed away just one week before Stanley also in Alliance, OH.

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