CONVERSATIONS: Feeding your love of life!

CONVERSATIONS: Feeding your love of life!

Conversations LIVE on WYAD 94.1 FM in Yazoo City, Mississippi!

Conversations LIVE on WYAD 94.1 FM in Yazoo City, Mississippi!
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Conversations LIVE is on 106 Live Radio

Conversations LIVE is on 106 Live Radio
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Real-Life "Bilie Jean" talks with Cyrus A. Webb about Michael Jackson, more

Shadow Play Entertainment and the Conversations Brand are sadden by the death of an icon: Michael Jackson. Though we never had the opportunity to interview him directly, we did have the opportunity to befriend the real-life "Billie Jean", Theresa Gonsalves.

On her website, she had this to say on Thursday, June 25, 2009: "My heart is heavy with sadness as I mourn the loss of my dear friend
Michael Jackson! Michael, I will see you in Glory!"
Cyrus A. Webb, President of both Shadow Play and Conversations was able to interview Gonsalves several times over the period of three years about her relationship with Michael Jackson, how she dealt with the media attention and about her book OBSESSIONS which talks about the two of them as well as about the relationship that threatened to kill her.


In 1984 Star Magazine, a publication said to sometimes stretch the truth, was the first to reveal something that had puzzled many a music lover: who was the inspiration behind Superstar Michael Jackson's hit song BILLIE JEAN. They answered that question with not only an interview, but a series of pictures of the woman: Theresa Gonsalves.

 Theresa's relationship with Michael began when she was twelve years old. She became "obsessed" with him and wrote him numerous letters until they met in Las Vegas for her sixteenth birthday! The obsession continued as they stayed in touch from that point on. Their worlds have continuously gone full circle always leading back to each other. They last saw each other four days before his arrest for these current child molestation charges as she introduced her own son Mychal (named after Michael) to him. Michael had his kids with him as well and was genuinely happy to see that Theresa's son was so well cared for! However, it was Theresa's son Todd that was the controversy behind the hit song Billie Jean. Her friendship with Michael was such that she confided in him about all aspects of her life. In detailing her situation about her baby's daddy....Michael wrote the song Billie Jean about her!

Read the entire interview as it appeared in the online magazine Blagazine back in August 2006:

During the summer of 2008, Webb interviewed Gonsalves on his radio show Conversations LIVE! Conversations Book Club was hosting her first visit to Mississippi to promote her book OBSESSIONS and THE MAN IN THE WOODS. Listen to the entire interview here:

Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the Jackson family and all of those who are reflecting on the life and legacy of 'The King of Pop.'

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Paul Wall, "The People's Champ", on Conversations LIVE! Radio

International Recording Artist Paul Wall, "The People's Champ", makes his first appearance on Conversations LIVE! Radio to talk about his life, success and the new album THE FAST LIFE. Listen here:

Hosted by Cyrus A. Webb, Paul Wall talked about his beginnings as a street promoter in the late 90s, what he feels like is the key to his success, why artists enjoy working with him and what advice he gives to artists on their way up. He also introduces his new single "Lemon Drop" and tell when the video was shot.

This interview was provided commercial-free thanks to the following sponsors: The Hip Hop Chronicle, The Warehouse Crewe, S.T.I.L.L. Magazine, Crunk Magazine, Industry Standard Magazine, Nu South Magazine and Hype Magazine.

During the entire month of June, Conversations LIVE! Radio is celebrating SIX YEARS of exclusive interviews. Missed some of your favorites? Visit

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Write Stuff Joins ENWA-Rwanda in Promoting Literacy

Continuing its mission to encourage reading and spread its addiction to books around the world, The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign is pleased to announce its support of ENWA-Rwanda.

ENWA is a not for profit organization that supports Rwanda’s post-genocide reconstruction efforts. The organization contributes to the healing of the country after the traumatic events of 1994 by supporting development initiatives started by women seeking self-reliance and improvement of the welfare of their communities.

ENWA's mission is to empower women to become competitive entrepreneurs through enhancing their potential to start and manage income generating projects. It provides them with business advisory services and develop their entrepreneurial skills.

In 2009, however, ENWA began using its influence to gather reading materials for Rwanda, hosting a book drive that garnered the support and attention of individuals across the world. It was through this endeavor that Cyrus A. Webb, The Write Stuff's Founder and host of Conversations LIVE! Radio, was introduced to Claire Umubyeyi and Delilah Rothenberg.

"The work Claire and Delilah are doing is so incredible and needed," says Webb,33. He received an email from Delilah after she saw a post about The Write Stuff on "I was glad we could work together, and it became a chain reaction that I hope will further the cause of both of our organizations."

Webb interviewed the ladies on Conversations LIVE! Radio, allowing them to talk about the work they were doing and how the public could get involved. (Listen to the interview by clicking here: )

Claire and Delilah released the following statement:
"We would like to thank The Write Stuff for their support and publicity of the ENWA-Rwanda book drive. Books are scarce in post-war Rwanda and illiteracy is high. Although Rwanda has been a French speaking country in recent history, the President is taking initiative to promote English as a new common language. Therefore, our assistance sending proper teaching materials will help to prevent Rwandans of all ages from being left behind. The Write Stuff connected us with the very impressive authors, Barbara Worton (Too Tall Alice--- seen above with Umubyeyi) and Stacey Kannenberg (Let's Get Ready series) to help with the drive, as well. Thanks again, Cyrus and team!"

Both organizations continue to need and solicit your support. For more information about The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign visit or contact Cyrus A. Webb at For more information about ENWA, visit, contact Claire Umubyeyi at 646.552.1037 or .

Monday, June 15, 2009

(06/15/09) International Bestselling Author John Saul on Conversations LIVE! Radio

Did you miss International Bestselling author John Saul on Conversations LIVE! Radio on Monday, July 15, 2009? If so, listen to the entire podcast here:

Chosen as Conversations Book Club's Author Of The Year 2008-2009, Saul shares his beginnings as an author, talks about the release of his book FACES OF FEAR in paperback (July 2009), his upcoming new novel coming out later this year and how he measures success.

To listen to the interview live, visit Missed other interviews on Conversations LIVE! Radio? Visit

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

“The TRUth of Conversations and Platinum-selling Recording Artist C-Mu rder”

"The TRU Story of How Conversations Partnered with Platinum-selling Recording Artist /Bestselling author C-Murder"
by Herschel Dixon with Stanley Clark of For The People Productions

(Part Two of For The People Productions' Three-Part Series Celebrating The Six Years of Success of Cyrus A. Webb's Conversations Brand. Missed part one of our three part interview with Cyrus A. Webb? Visit this link:

I got a call from Cyrus on the afternoon of Monday, June 1, 2009 telling me that he was on hold to talk with Martha Stewart on her radio show. That's right: Martha Stewart. And as you can imagine he was excited. I didn't know it at the time, but he had seen a tweet from Martha on Twitter inviting people to call into her show during her "Ask Martha" segment. That was all he needed.

That is the Cyrus Webb I have gotten to know over the past decade since we first met. He sees something that he wants, and he goes after it with no thought of what can't be done. The word "No" doesn't exist in his world, at least not when directed towards him. Obstacles just mean "Not right now."

The month he was celebrating as the six year anniversary of his Conversations Brand is really a celebration of the growth Webb has experienced not only within himself and his audience, but the number of walls he has brought down because of just wanting to bring people together to promote the very best of themselves.

I have heard Cyrus joke with people that he has a split personality: the everyday Cyrus Webb and the more public alter ego C. A. Webb. I believe at some point that might just be true. From what I have seen, however, over the years it has been hard to tell when one ends and the other begins.

"I run my life just like one runs a political campaign," he says. "My typical day begins between 4-5:30a.m. 7 days a week with a very deliberate routine. I get dressed, put on the water for my coffee and check email before updating my websites and going through my daily schedule." That's right: a schedule. Before going to bed each day he makes a list of things he knows he wants to get done when the next day begins. "The list may change some throughout the day," he admits. "Some things are added or even moved to the following day, but there is an effort made to make each day count."

Failure to best utilize the hours he is given can sometime lead to a side of Webb that is not as flattering as the calm persona he likes to show. He is a control freak. This is not something I have heard, but something I have seen firsthand over the time since we met. Cyrus Webb does not like for outside forces to sway him in any way. Time is precious, and he doesn't like to waste any of what he is given. "I have a saying that I tweet everyday," he says. "It's very simple: 'YESTERDAY is gone. TOMORROW is not promised. All you have is TODAY.' That is not just true of me, but everyone."

For Cyrus time is not just money, but a priceless resource that can't be wasted. It seems that is the reason why he has done his best to make his brand, especially Conversations, something that is not limited to one group.

"One of the things that frustrates me the most is people assuming things about me and what I do based on what they think they know or what they see," Webb says. During this conversation on the phone he paused as though trying to make sure he made his point the best way possible. "I am a young black male, but this doesn't mean everything I do is based on my age or my race. My world is so much bigger than black and white. I don't see this argument having to be made by those who are my white counterparts and friends. I don't want to be put in a box."

(Photo above courtesy of Jackson Advocate Newspaper)

As Webb continued to grow Conversations, it became clear that his vision was not going to be a one note. From the radio or television shows to the magazine and then to the book clubs, there was something for every group. What impressed me the most about the way the brand was constructed, was the fact that Cyrus had an invested interest in every aspect. He researches every guest, reads every book and personally writes them an electronic Thank You note afterwards. "It's called Conversations," he says, "so it stands to reason that I would have to be personally involved with every aspect of it. In order for all of these parts to work, I have to know what I'm talking about, especially if it is something that takes me out of my comfort level."

Read the remainder of this interview by visiting this link:

Bestselling author Andrew Neiderman on Conversations LIVE! Radio


Did you miss Conversations LIVE! Radio's interview with literary powerhouse International Bestselling author Andrew Neiderman? If so, listen to the podcast FREE here:

In this special extended edition of Conversations, host Cyrus A. Webb talks to the author about his incredible career, ghostwriting for the V. C. Andrews franchise and what advice he gives to upcoming authors and those trying to remain relevant among the competition.

Neiderman has been a guest on Conversations since 2006, and his book THE MAGIC BULLET has been chosen as one of Conversations' Top 20 Summer Reads of the year.

Want to know what is next for the literary icon? All that and more is revealed in this special interview!

* Andrew Neiderman was first interviewed for Conversations Magazine in 2006. Click here for the exclusive interview with Cyrus A. Webb. In 2007 Webb led a discussion with Neiderman via conference call for Conversations Book Club at the Waldenbooks Metrocenter. The author was on Conversations LIVE! Radio first in 2008. Listen to the podcast by clicking here.

JOIN THE ADDICTION: Get hooked on Books!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kim Wayans and Kevin Knotts on Conversations LIVE! Radio

Did you miss Conversations LIVE! Radio's interview with authors/husband & wife team Kim Wayans and Kevin Knotts? If so, listen to the podcast here:
The two talk with listeners about their children's book series featuring Amy Hodges and how they hope it creates dialogue about diversity and acceptance of others. What as the inspiration for the series? Will we see Amy grow up? Where can you find the authors? Find out the answers to these questions and more.
Conversations LIVE! Radio is celebrating six years of wonderful interviews. Want to hear some of what you missed? Visit

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

(June 2, 2009) The King of Conversations Celebrates Six Years of Success, Part One

The King of Conversations Celebrates Six Years of Success, Part One
By Stanley Clark of For The People Productions with Herschel Dixon

(NOTE: This is Part One in a three-part series of our interview with For The People Productions' Chief of Staff and Conversations founder Cyrus A. Webb about the creation of his omnimedia organization and his reflection from the past six years. In what is by far his most revealing interview to date, he addresses his beginnings in the spotlight, some of the challenges and controversies he has overcome and what is next in his growing organization.)
On Monday, June 1, 2009 Mississippi native Cyrus A. Webb aka C. A. Webb marked six years since he had packaged his love of thoughtful discussions into what would become known as The Conversations Brand. What began in 2003 as a radio show called Conversations with C. A. Webb talking with the movers and shakers in his home state has expanded into a national platform where people in the all areas of the arts and entertainment world can be united with their fans and supporters through a radio and television show, magazine, forums and book clubs—lots of book clubs. Under Webb, Conversations has been talked and written about in regional newspapers and magazines such as The Clarion Ledger, The Record, Mckinney Courier, Hype Magazine, and Times Picayune and in national outlets such as The Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, MTV, VH1, USA Today and more.

Since its inception, literally hundreds of guests have talked with the host and his audience and tens of thousands have tuned in to the conversations. By 2008, Webb’s Conversations Book Club was considered one of the leading literary reading groups, boasting 10 chapters in five states covering all genres, cultural backgrounds and interests. To date the book club has arguably hosted more authors than any other in the country. In 2008, Webb was honored to have his radio show, Conversations LIVE! Radio (formerly "Conversations with C. A. Webb), be considered the “It” place for some of the biggest names on television, getting exclusive interviews that were not found anywhere else!

“I knew that God had blessed me with gifts,” says Webb,33. “I just wasn’t sure to what extent those gifts would be utilized.” Before 2003 Webb was mainly known as a spoken word and visual artist as well as someone who shared his talent with the youth, but from an early age those around him knew there was more to come. “I go back and read some of the articles where those I’ve worked with talk about me and it seems almost surreal,” he says. “Who would have known that my mission to be heard would lead to this?”


Considering his beginnings, Webb’s success would automatically seem unlikely. His father died when he was young, and his relationship with his step-father was not one that has always been smooth. “I was only 6 when he came into our lives,” Webb recounts, “and I didn’t like him. I’m not sure exactly why. I mean, he wasn’t perfect, but neither were my younger brother and I. I think a lot of it was that I felt he was trying to fill a place that wasn’t his.” Today Webb and his step-father are closer. “He has been great to my mother, and even for me. When I host events that are local, I can look for him to either try to attend or make sure to ask how they went.”

Another aspect that makes Webb’s journey seem impossible is that he made the decision in high school not to go to college. “That was hard for my family to understand and took some time for them to accept,” he says. “I am not going to sit here and say that I always made the right decisions, but I wanted to follow my heart.” There would be some things that would test Webb during that time, however, in the end he stayed true to what he thought was right. Incidentally, for the past 7 years he has spoken at colleges about the importance of following one’s dreams.

”I don’t tell them to follow my path or that my path is right for them,” Webb insists, “but I do tell them how important it is to make each day count.” It is that lesson that would become the underlying message of Conversations.


By 2003 Webb had been written about in various publications and covered on television in Mississippi for the past 4 years, talking about his personal story of dealing with his own demons and using that to help others through his poetry and artwork as well as his visits to schools and with community groups. He was told of an opportunity to have his own 1/2 hour show on WMPR 90.1 FM in Jackson, MS for a reasonable price. It was an interesting opportunity, he thought. “You could pay the fee for the time slot and basically run it the way you wanted to.” Webb also saw it as a way to branch out to a larger audience because the station reached 4 states on the radio dial and was heard live online. “It was a big opportunity, and I saw it as a way to branch out and see what happened.” He was 27 years old.

The first show was called “Let’s Talk”, and Webb admitted he was a nervous wreck. “I had this whole script written out,” he says with a laugh. “I took it as a way to tell the listeners about me, what I did and what I hoped the show was able to accomplish. Remember, this was a 30 minute show, and because I was reading so fast because of nervousness, I was done in about 15 minutes.” Webb knew he had to do something, so he asked those listening to call in and tell him what they wanted to talk about. At first there was nothing, and then a call came in from his friend Angela “Urban Rose” Sarton, an artist who lived in Biloxi, Mississippi. She had been listening and called in to tell Cyrus congratulations on the show.

What happened next, would set the stage for what would become Conversations.

“After thanking her for calling in,” Webb recounts, “I then told her to tell the listeners about herself and about the art she created.” The back and forth went on, and that completed his first show. “I knew from then on that it was important to have guests that others could relate to and feel as though they not only knew but wanted to know more about.”

“Let’s Talk” became “Conversations with C. A. Webb” and with the name change also went the script. “I could tell that as long as I knew about the person I was talking to, I didn’t need to try and read a script. A conversation is real. I wanted my show to be real.”

The show quickly grew a following. “Over the next two years I was able to introduce not only Mississippi but listeners all over the world to guests that were making a difference,” says Webb. “We had all ages, races and backgrounds on: visual artists, poets and spoken word artists on the program as well as ministers and those who were working with non-profits. As the show went on, recording artists got involved, even breaking their music first on my show.” Such artists include Duane Scott, Martha Simpson, The Patrick Smith Band and Tim Collins. “Conversations was for everyone,” he said, but it was obvious that it was his style that kept guests coming and his listeners tuning in.

The fee Webb paid for the time on the radio station was simply an investment, because before long he was having advertisers come to him, paying to have their businesses, services and events mentioned on the show. The opportunity then became a means of revenue as well. “I wish I could take credit for the show’s success,” Webb says. “The gratitude definitely goes to God. I am just using the gift he has given me.”

Webb was asked about expanding that gift on television in 2004. “I found out that you could basically get a paid programming block of airtime on television as well,” he says, “and so I went to the ABC affiliate in Jackson and pitched my idea. The price for a Sunday morning show was reasonable, so I went to my advertisers and before I knew it ‘Conversations with C. A. Webb’ was then on television.”

Before long it became clear that people outside the state of Mississippi were seeing Webb as a viable force. “I began getting letters and emails from publicists wanting to have their clients on my program when they had events going on or were going to be in the Mississippi area,” Webb says. The first author to be on both Webb’s radio and television show was bestselling author Brandon Massey in 2004. “He was so down to earth and approachable. It was after his visit that I began to really see how what I was being allowed to do was making a difference.”

The author and Webb have kept in touch and are friends to this day.

Among other things, “Conversations with C. A. Webb” also became a forum to discuss topics that were in the news. Webb hosted discussions on everything from how to build your Brand, the effect of sex, drugs and violence in entertainment as well as addressing issues of faith.

In 2005, however, the television version of Conversations took Webb into the political arena. Something that he has tried hard to remain neutral in. “I believe that what Conversations represented was not my personal feelings, but the thoughts and ideals of my guests. Whether I agreed with them or not, it was my responsibility to let my guests express themselves.”

That year was an election year for Jackson, Mississippi’s mayor, and Webb decided that he was going to invite the Mayoral candidates on his show and film the interviews in front of an audience. He reached out to the camps of the three (3) major candidates. Mayor Harvey Johnson(D) and Rick Whitlow(R) agreed to come on and talk about their ideals. Democratic candidate Frank Melton(D) declined the offer.

“I was nervous,” Webb relates, “but I was nervous with every interview. In fact, I still am, but I had done my homework on them, and was fair to them both. The interviews were done separately, and I believe in the end, the audience got to see another side of them.” That year Mayor Johnson would lose to Frank Melton. (Note: Mayor Frank Melton passed away in April 2009 while still in office.)

That same year, Webb began writing columns for The Mississippi Link under Conversations as well, focusing on his guests and some of the topics the shows would focus on. Now on radio, television and in print, Webb wanted to his influence to help others in more public ways such as contests and awards shows. And it was with that decision that he was taught the hard way that all that glitters is not gold.


Though Webb had been riding a way of positive energy and press for almost six years, 2005 and 2006 would prove to hold the first public dents in his armor.

“I don’t consider myself a celebrity,” Webb says. “Yes, I am in the public eye, people know me and I do a lot of things that get attention, but I interview celebrities. That’s not me.”

The view that Cyrus A. Webb has of himself is not the view that others sometimes have of him. There have been accusations that he is on a mission to control the world as he knows it, making the decision of what makes it and what doesn’t. Others have said that Conversations is just another way of making him rich and famous, not to help others. In 2005 and again in 2006, Webb was involved in two events that were meant to recognize talent in the state of Mississippi, however, the end result was a financial loss and accusations that Webb was completely responsible and a fraud.

“That was a hard time for me,” Webb reflects. “I don’t talk a lot about that time, because what hurt me more than what some saw as a failure was how quickly those around me scurried to cover themselves and add insult to injury.” He then pauses and adds: “You know, one thing I haven’t talked a lot about in this interview is my group of friends. The reason is that I have learned that your friends are not always who you think they are. Yes, I was at the head of projects that didn’t go exactly according to plan, but I was hurt, really hurt at how even those around me—who I thought knew me—weren’t there for me. But I was true to myself in the situation. I didn’t go pointing fingers at others. I took responsibility. I stepped up as the leader, and that is what I will always do.”

What did those setbacks teach Webb? “I learned that at the end of the day, you can’t rely on others to step up and do all they can to make things work. You have to be able to shoulder the weight of the burden, not just relish the success. That was a big lesson for me. Look at what celebrities go through everyday. Every move they make is critiqued and analyzed. Some of them are ripped to shreds every week. Surely I could handle a two newspaper articles. And that was all it was: two newspaper articles. I learned something about myself during that time. I could handle not only the praise, but the criticism as well.”

This attitude would prove Webb well as he entered another ambitious endeavor in 2008.


At the end of 2006, Webb was ready to move on to the next phase of his brand. It involved a love of his that had existed since he was a child: His love of books.

“I had experienced success talking with authors on the radio and television shows, and I knew that a book club would be ideal,” Webb says. Finding one he could fit into his program, though, proved to be easier said than done. “It was the funniest thing to me. I did research on book clubs all across the state of Mississippi and there were none that were set up to include men.” What made this extremely odd to him was that the state had the highest illiteracy and high school drop out rate in the country at the time. “I knew that in order for this to work, I had to create my own book club, but it couldn’t just be about a book that was discussed once a month.”

Webb then had an idea. “I reached out to the publicists and authors I had met and asked them how would they feel about being guests during an interactive discussion of their books with readers.” The name of the book club? Conversations. The response was overwhelming. He then reached out to the Medgar Evers Library in Jackson, MS about staying open an hour later twice a week for the discussions to take place. The librarian, Ms. Laura Turner, agreed and the book club began with 3 members, a speaker phone and the author discussing the book with the group. Just one month later, thanks to Tricom Publicity, Webb was hosting New York Times Bestselling author Carl Weber in his first visit to Mississippi for literary events.

“Since that first meeting in November 2006, Conversations Book Club has hosted more authors than 100 authors in actual events, and I’ve held phone discussions through our book club with over 200 since then,” Webb says. “We have something for everyone: groups that read teen books, non-fiction, inspirational... anything you could want. I think that is the draw of the club.” That and all of the events being free to the public and open to other book clubs has truly helped Conversations’ popularity. “We don’t exclude anyone. All are welcome.”

Because of the work put into the book club, Webb took a break from his radio and television shows in 2007 to devote his time primarily to promoting literacy. That year allowed him to bring attention to books that he wanted others to know about, and introduce popular and new authors to audiences they hadn’t been with before. It was also in 2007 when he formed "Conversations with C. A. Webb Magazine", a 32 page bi-monthly opportunity where some of Webb's favorite interviews with movers and shakers could be shared along with columns from guest writers with affordable advertisers. (Today the magazine has about 300 subscribers and in 2008 was renamed "Conversations".)

One of the most talked about and controversial events of 2007 with Webb and his book club was his hosting of platinum-selling recording artist/bestselling author Corey “C-Murder” Miller. Incidentally, this would also open up a new audience for the brand: the hip hop community.


NOTE: Part Two of this exclusive interview will be posted on Tuesday, June 9, 2009.