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Benny Spellman

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Biography

The deep bass voice of New Orleans R&B vocalist Benny Spellman boomed through loud and clear on many early-'60s Allen Toussaint productions, but he enjoyed a major hit of his own in 1962, "Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)." Spellman spent some time with Huey "Piano" Smith and the Clowns before signing with Minit, where Toussaint utilized his deep pipes to full advantage as a backing vocalist behind Ernie K-Doe on "Mother-in-Law" and countless others. (The Rolling Stones covered "Fortune Teller," the flip side of this hit.) Spellman recorded through much of the '60s, his "Word Game" turning up on Atlantic in 1965, before he took a job as a public relations executive for Miller Beer. ~ Bill Dahl

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