Newton Record Shop Hosts Collection Of Late Boston Music Icon Brother Cleve

Photo: Matthew Tetrault

NEWTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Inside Want List Records in Newton is a framed photo of a man wearing a fedora and Hawaiian shirt with a cocktail in his hand.

That man is Brother Cleve—born Robert Toomey—a Medford native who became a Boston nightlife icon for his skills as both a DJ and a mixologist.

Cleve died suddenly in September 2022 at the age of 67, leaving behind a massive vinyl record collection of thousands of albums.

Working in conjunction with Cleve's widow Diane, Want List Records is now sharing this treasure trove of music with the public as part of the "Brother Cleve Collection." From punk to funk, space age to reggae, country, soul, and so much more, music lovers of all kinds can find something to which they can raise a drink

"We just feel like that adds an extra layer of meaning and depth, certainly provenance as to where it came from," store co-owner Brian Coleman told WBZ NewsRadio.

"There’s a lot of international music, including a very large collection of Bollywood records," added co-owner Dave Belson.

The record store at 381 Elliot St. also hosts the album collections of music writer, DJ, and social activist Tim Haslett, who died in 2008, and Boston radio DJ Magnus Johnstone, who passed away in 2013.

WBZ's Madison Rogers (@MadisonWBZ) reports.

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