Benny Spellman (December 11, 1931 – June 3, 2011) was an American rhythm and blues singer, best known for his 1962 hit "Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)", written by Allen Toussaint and the original version of "Fortune Teller", covered by The Rolling Stones among others. "Lipstick Traces" reached #28 on the US Billboard Black singles chart and #80 on the Billboard Hot 100. 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.
Benjamin J. Spellman was born in Pensacola, Florida, United States. He sang backing vocals on Ernie K-Doe's number one hit record, "Mother in Law". He recorded a single, "Word Game", on Atlantic Records in 1965, then he semi-retired from music to work in the beer industry.
In 1988, Collectables Records issued a retrospective album of 16 of Spellman's recordings from the 1960s. In 2009, Spellman was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Spellman died of respiratory failure in June 2011, at the age of 79.
Born in Pensacola FL, and quite possibly most well known for his almost anonymous bass baritone backing vocal contribution to the Ernie K Doe classic "Mother In Law", Spellman branched off on a solo career in 1960's New Orleans. He was first a roadie & then member of Huey "Piano" Smith and the Clowns, later recording solo sides for labels like Watch, Scram, Minit, Alon, Ace, Bandy, Mor Soul Sansu, and even Atlantic.
His most well known songs are generally his work on Minit with arranger/producer/songwriter Allen Toussaint such as "Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)" and "Fortune Teller".
According to the Fortune Teller Songfacts, Spellman eventually retired from music to go work in the beer industry.