Born in Pensacola, Spellman made his name in New Orleans first as a backup singer in Huey “Piano” Smith’s group the Clowns before becoming a regular performer at the Dew Drop Inn. In 1962 he got his break recording for Minit Records, releasing the single that included his two Allen Toussaint-penned hits, “Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)” and “Fortune Teller.”
He released other singles for Minit, as well as Louisiana labels Watch and Alon records, and even had a single on Atlantic Records in 1965 before retiring from the music business three years later and eventually moving back to his hometown of Pensacola.
Services for Spellman will take place in Pensacola, Florida this Friday, June 10 at Saint Joseph Catholic Church. Visitation is at 10:30 a.m. followed by a mass at 11:30 a.m.
Benny Spellman’s “Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)”:
Updated June 9, 9:16 a.m.
The photo was of Lloyd Price, not Benny Spellman. That problem has been corrected, and the YouTube song was inserted.