Although he is widely credited with sinking the first pan, there has been an ongoing debate concerning his role in pioneering steelpan music. This debate is especially heated among supporters of the late, Winston “Spree” Simon, whom many Trinidadians sentimentally refer to as the “Father of Pan.”
When questioned about the issue, Mannette told a reporter that all of the early pioneers, including himself, brought innovations that were pivotal to the growth of the art-form. He said that he doesn’t see why they all can’t receive equal recognition. However, he humbly tipped his hat to Simon’s legacy.
“He [Spree] is the first man, as far I understand, to play a melody on one of the small pans,” said Mannette. “From that time on he started a trend that everybody followed, so that legacy will live forever.”
... Ellie Mannette