Benny Spellman

Benny Spellman (December 11, 1931 – June 3, 2011)[1] was an American R&B singer,[2] best known for his 1961 hits "Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)," and the original version of "Fortune Teller", written by Allen Toussaint (as Naomi Neville).

Later, these songs were covered by The Who and The Rolling Stones, among others.[3] "Lipstick Traces" reached #28 on the US Billboard Black singles chart and #80 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4] Spellman variously worked with Allen Toussaint, Earl King ("Trick Bag"), Huey "Piano" Smith, Ernie K-Doe, Wilson Pickett, The Neville Brothers and The O'Jays.[5]

Spellman was born in Pensacola, Florida, United States.[5] He sang backing vocals on Ernie K-Doe's number one hit record, "Mother in Law".[3] He recorded a single, "Word Game", on Atlantic Records in 1965, but later semi-retired from music to work in the beer industry.[3]

In 1988, Collectables Records issued a retrospective album of 16 of Spellman's recordings from the 1960s. In 2009, he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.[5]

Spellman died of respiratory failure in June 2011, at the age of 79.[5]


  1. "R&B legend Benny Spellman dies". WWLTV Eyewitness News. 2011-06-05. Archived from the original on 2014-03-17. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
  2. Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5.
  3. 1 2 3 Benny Spellman at Allmusic
  4. Billboard, Allmusic
  5. 1 2 3 4 - accessed September 2011

External links

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