“Rocky Simmons was a professional photographer. He and George Mitchell had a studio on Scio Street. They worked the nightclubs, dances, and took pictures of families in their homes and churches. Many people have told me the first photo they had was taken by my father. What is so amazing is that they still have these pictures that were taken 50 and 60 years ago.”
--Roxie Simmons Sinkler
Rocky often photographed new business enterprises. Greene’s Beauty & Barber Supply is featured here with James Greene and Louise Cotner.
The Elverays, from left to right: Freddy Huston, Buddy Granston, Albert Hartzog, Robert “Bojack” Jackson, Phil Montgomery and Teddy Walker. Rocky Simmons took this photograph in a studio he had at the corner of Joseph Ave. and Nassau St. in 1957.
Photo courtesy of Buddy Granston.
Pastor Enlis Long of the Peace Baptist Church, 5 Leopold St. Rochester, ca 1950s.
Restaurant kitchen worker, Rochester, ca 1950s.
Elks Club Marching Band, Clarissa St. Rochester, ca 1950s.
Mr. Willie Harvey, with his daughter Martha on his arm approaches the altar where she will wed Cleveland Hope. The wedding took place in the bride’s home 27 Skuse St. Rochester on May 25, 1963. Pastor Willie Frank Cotton of the Antioch Baptist Church performed the ceremony.
Martha Hope remembers that “I was both extremely happy and nervous at the same time, but I knew that with Dad there I would get through it.” The Hopes have been married for more than 45 years.
Wedding of Audrey and Willis Smith. Front row, from left to right: Beatrice Dawkins (later to become Mrs. Rocky Simmons), Bride Audrey Smith, Groom Willis Smith, “Bunch” , Ella May Wyatt; back row, from left to right: Corean Finn, Mrs. Crump, Leander Simmons, Jessie Gamble. November 21, 1953, 271 Ormond St. Rochester.
Beauty salon interior. Beautician Laura Walker styles Beatrice Simmons’ hair. ca 1960, Rochester.
George Mitchell, Rocky’s friend and business partner.
Group of three musicians, with “Sonny” in the middle. Club in Rochester. ca 1970.
Frankie Kay and the Swinging Vee Jays, Frankie Kay on guitar, Mr. Graham on saxophone, Mr. White on bass and Mr. Cooke on drums. Rochester, ca 1960.
Singing group, left to right: Jerry Phillips, Louis A. “Bubbles” Johnson (Grammy Award co-winner 1986 for “Sweet Love”), Isaiah Williams, Wade Davis. Kneeling in front: Albert Hartzog. Rochester, ca 1960.
“Mr. Wonderful Lounge.” Many musical groups got their start in this night club that was located on West Main Street in Rochester from 1969-1971. Rocky took many photographs here.
Liquor store interior as new business enterprise, Jefferson Avenue, Rochester.