Benny Spellman

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Benny Spellman (December 11, 1931 – June 3, 2011)[1] was an American R&B singer,[2] best known for the 1962 single "Lipstick Traces (on a Cigarette)" and its B-side "Fortune Teller", both written by Allen Toussaint (credited as Naomi Neville).

"Lipstick Traces" reached #28 on the US Billboard Black singles chart and #80 on the Billboard Hot 100,[3] while "Fortune Teller" was later performed many other artists including The Who and The Rolling Stones.[4] Spellman variously worked with 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.[5] He sang backing vocals on Ernie K-Doe's number one hit record, "Mother in Law".[4] He recorded a single, "Word Game", on Atlantic Records in 1965, but later semi-retired from music to work in the beer industry.[4]

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. ^ Billboard, Allmusic
  4. ^ a b c Benny Spellman at Allmusic
  5. ^ a b c d - accessed September 2011

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