Repost: Dissent of the Day

I’ve verified the authenticity of this post (having spoken on the phone with the author and contacted Roy Hayes and Vivici/CMP), and am as comfortable as you can be online that the author is who he says he is. Thus I’m resposting the Dissent of the Day as it appeared yesterday, with your comments (for more context on this, see here). This is the internet, so I guess you can never be a 100% sure of anything, and if anything changes I’ll keep you posted. But for now, we return you to your regularly scheduled discussion.

i am sorry but after reading the update from Avery i just had to respond.

Sir, i am the Chairman of a public company whose partners include IBM and many other high profile companies. We have sponsored red carpet events in LA and NYC, Indy racing and other events. We have best of breed partners and associate with the finest and most professional organizations. I can tell you as a sponsor i take exception to the inaccurate silly comments regarding the event at Carnigie.

The one thing that is missing in all the previous comments by you and others is that this was an event on Thanksgiving Friday. What a blessing to those who attended. Christian and non-christian, jew and gentile. A first class event that moved many to tears including myself even prior to intermission.

While your backhanded and cowardly apology elevated the degree of respect i have for you as a commentator slightly higher than zero, I am quite frankly amazed at your last comment.

Check your facts dude! The fact is our company assisted in the funding of the event. We saw value in both commercial and spiritual benefits of doing so. Further, what right do you have to disrespect something without going directly to the sources in order to form an educated and informed insight into the event.

Lives were changed, and the good news was presented in a manner that no one could deny was and is above reproach.

Our company, CEO America Inc., choose to support the event as soon as we had the opportunity to meet the management of CMP.

I will tell you sir, that we are prepared to support this event next year as well.

Additionally, despite your petty thoughts that only reflect poorly on you as a commentator, use your own forum to redeem yourself and update your blog with truth, integrity and respect for those who have done an amazing service to the gospel music industry as a whole.

Dialogue and discussion is good. Lies, rumors and innuendo is not becoming to anyone. So, come on Avery, fess up, make me a fan and who knows….we may sponsor and support you as well.

David Vaters
CEO America Inc.

Hmmm. I’m not sure how much clearer I can make it beyond saying I was “wrong” about several details and pointing out that “I stand corrected,” but in ways that don’t change my underlying skepticism about AGM. But no matter. It’s all good. I doubt, though, that you should hold your breath while looking for CEO America ads on any time soon.

Having now heard from key backers of AGM, this makes me wonder: what do the pastors and programming directors at the larger(ish) churches and other venues AGM is aiming for think about what they’ve seen so far? It’d be fantabulous to hear from (potential) players in this enterprise other than those with direct financial stakes in it.

Update: Via reader DA, another press release about the NYC event that might help flesh the context of this discussion a bit more.

Email this Post


  1. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    He called you “dude.” Do guys still call each other “dude?” Glad to see he got you straightened out…dude.

    Seriously, I would love to see AGM rise to an alterno-Gaither level. The whole concept of branding is good. I question the pay to play, pay to certify, pay to say you’re an AGM radio station/record label/promoter, etc. model of doing business, but I’m all for lumping the best quality Southern Gospel, Inspirational and Adult Contemporary artists together and calling it American Gospel Music.

  2. BUICK wrote:

    Do you suppose this post and the Roy J. Hayes post are legit? I would have thought high-powered executives of high-powered entertainment enterprises would command better use of the English language (or have secretaries who make better use of the language. Mr. Hayes wrote (and I copied and pasted to make sure it was identical to his post): “They new exactly what it was…” I’m sure Mr. Hayes KNEW that they KNEW “exactly what it was”.

    And in this post by Mr. Vaters, the language does not appear to be that of a professional (with terms like “dude”, the use of lower-case “i” instead of upper-case “I” for the first person singular pronoun, grammar and syntax errors abounding, etc.). All of this makes me wonder if these are the people they purport to be or if they are bloggers posing as professionals and making up their “facts” just to get their words in this site.

    Maybe they are who they claim to be…and maybe not. But they certainly have not presented themselves in a very polished, professional or business-like manner. At least that is IMHO.

    What about it, Doug. Can you verify the identities of these two posters/posers?

  3. Jason wrote:

    I ditto BUICK.

  4. Mickey Gamble wrote:

    “Carnigie” ???

  5. Practical Fellow wrote:

    I agree with the skepticism above. I wonder if important CEO’s really care/read/worry about blogs such as this. I mean, aren’t they out doing power lunches wearing power ties while making power plays? Dude.

    Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book a few years back called, The Tipping Point. It’s about the art of cultural phenomenon and how a grass roots effort becomes a national movement. From what I can tell, no one at or with the AGM has read this book - or is getting the point.

    If you have to tell people that you are a success… are you really?

  6. CVH wrote:

    I read the previous thread on AGM and Carnagie Hall and was, admittedly, skeptical. Now reading this letter, I’m even more skeptical. Clarifying a few facts aside, I agree with BUICK’S assessment; the lack of professionalism in the grammar and usage is appalling. The phrasing is amateurish. If this clown really is the CEO of a company I doubt he’s going to be doing a column for Forbes or cracking the Fortune 500 anytime soon.

    But beyond the credibility of the letter lies the question of whether an AGM concept can work. If all the parties involved can get beyond their own business interests and personal biases and find enough common ground to work on, it may be a viable concept. But the “pay for play”, “pay for certification” model has no value unless AGM has credibility and can provide members with demonstrable benefits. I don’t see much of either at this point. Besides, the groups/companies that are doing ok probably won’t see the need for it. Why dilute your own brand? It’s the ones struggling and the incessant whiners in the business who are trying to create a ‘brand’ and a perceived value where none really exists.

  7. wrote:

    Yes, we are who we say we are.
    Our credentials speak for themselves. The artists we are working with and those who’ve been touched by this can tell you if we are professional enough. I apologize if my typos have prevented some from focusing on the real issues. I tend to treat my blogging posts about one step higher than my texting.

    Back to the issues:
    Can someone tell me where they see “pay to play” in the AGM model? It is a “get paid to play” model. The certification fees simply allow someone (us & others) to go out and try to create opportunities for these artists.
    Do any of you work for free?…I doubt it.

    As for associating with a credible brand, we speak with many artists who want and need those associations. How many artists would turn down the invitation to the Gaither circle or the NQC main stage? Not every artist or group can brand themselves on a national level. We hope we can help.

    *Practical Fellow…are you suggesting we should not take time to respond on this blog? Is this not a legit clearing house of information for the SG community or are we just writing to arm chair critics. Are any of the folks who’ve posted here doing anything themselves to move ahead the cause of SG music? I don’t mean “making money off of SG” - I mean, are you involved in any way in trying to help those in the trenches. Or do you grammatically-correct “posters” primarily sit back and find ways to criticize those who are trying to help - imperfect as it may be in your eyes?

    Yes, everyone has the right to question AGM,CMP, NQC, etc., but your comments would be better received if the beginning point of the dialogue was based on facts and a balanced view which includes the positives as well as your perceived negatives.

  8. Greg wrote:

    Until this post I really didn’t think twice about the whole story. But now it seems there are some things to wonder and and be skeptical about. Keep up the good work Avery.

  9. Practical Fellow wrote:

    re: #7

    Mr. Hayes,

    If it’s important to you… I’m a retired SG part-timer. I spent 10 years in the businistry and saw the good and the bad. I’m a songwriter and I have cuts that are active at radio now. I contribute to the genre by hosting local events, crafting the best possible songs for artists in this genre and by supporting the artists at their concerts and in the retail stores buying their CD’s.

    I assume you were lumping me in with everyone else who has criticized the AGM since I reviewed my post on this thread and it didn’t say much. I can’t imagine where you interpreted my comments to suggest you shouldn’t post on this blog. I’m sorry if you felt offended, but surely you’re not suggesting that others not post opinions and comments here either.

    It has been my observation that the AGM has announced it’s revolutionary presence to the industry and therefore made itself vulnerable to criticism. Can you think of one music genre or industry that simply decided it would exist and it did? Genres take time and musical revolutions to develop and conceive. Genre labels are given to identify music that shares a common cluster of qualities, attributes and themes. I don’t know of a time when a musical genre was just created. I could be wrong.

    Now back to my arm chair.

  10. curious inquirer wrote:

    So there is a difference between the AGM artists and the CMP artists? If so, what is it?

  11. steve wrote:

    Dude, were do these people learn to right. What skools are they attending becuz
    I’d like to be a chairman of a big company two. Pleas let me no.

  12. GC wrote:

    AGM will not make it with the current format, NQC will have it’s biggest year yet with the changes that are being made. There is something about this CMP business that just doesn’t add up, but it is evident that they know their purpose and not ashamed to let it be known: “Make Money”, take money, and make more money. I talked with thses artist maker wanabees at the 06 NQC. Huge booth, fancy handouts, clinics (CMP commercials), the whole nine yards. Lets just say after talking with them I felt motivated, motivated leave, and leave quickly. It was like when you visit a website and your browser warns of a scam. Southern Gospel music will grow and continue on, the “upper crust” may find away to set themselves apart from the “not so upper crust” but AGM in it’s current format is not the answer.

  13. JR wrote:

    When I read about this company creditz, I keep thinking of the mark of the beast, one world currency, one world religon. They probaly have probaly set up shop beside one of those paycheck loan businesses.

  14. royjhayes wrote:

    Does it strike anyone else as being a little bit poetic that so many comments in this thread are wasted on the issue of typos and grammar (especially #11 Steve) when #12 and #13 follow with posts that are replete with typos and missing words?

    I doubt anyone will mention that, so lets keep talking about the issues.
    “Mark of the beast?”…are you kidding?
    Do you have Visa or MC in your wallet?

    GC: how do you qualify the statement, “Southern Gospel music will grow and continue on?” Is that based on your understanding of the growth in the SG industry/business? NQC growth? Gaither growth? Growth of SG inclusion in the mainstream church? Growth of new groups vs. groups disbanding/adjourning?

  15. GC wrote:

    I qualify my statement by the fact that for the most part Southen Gospel Writers, Artists, Producers, and Fans are God fearing people using their spiritual gifts the way God is leading them. You see Mr. Hayes in our genre, we are out to spread the gospel having faith God will support us to do so.

  16. John wrote:

    The grammar skills were questioned because under normal circumstances CEO’s use proper spelling and grammar when communicating with others. #11 Steve was only trying make the same point. It’s been said bad publicity is better than no publicity, maybe that is Roy’s philosophy.

  17. curious inquirer wrote:

    Again, what is the difference between AGM artists and CMP artists?

  18. royjhayes wrote:

…have pursued and received the CMP Ministry Endorsement, which serves these artists by providing for them a standardized credential from a third party, based on the values of:
1. Musical Excellence
2. Ministry Readiness
3. Spiritual Integrity
An artist holding a third party credential of any type (this is present in almost every industry/ministry - ex. ordained ministers) finds this helpful as they seek to expose their ministry to those unfamiliar with the artist/group.
CMP continues to build a trusted relationship with thousands of ministry leaders and others who are looking for that “right” artist for their need. Those decision makers can come to the CMP site and locate an artist that fits their need (free access to the CMP Artist Search), knowing that this artist shares the ministry values the endorsement is built upon and has an ongoing relationship of accountability with someone who can help if there is a problem or need. Inaccurately described as a “spiritual certification,” The CMP endorsement is simply designed to add to the dynamic by which most artist build their work on…word of mouth or “a friend offering a recommendation.” CMP seeks to affirm the quality present in the artists they work with and then give the rest of the world information and access to those artists. CMP does not take a part of any of the bookings that may occur as a result of those connections.
The AGM brand is owned by the NQC. NQC partnered with CMP to help administrate and propagate the AGM brand and to find ways to open up new markets for this music outside the existing SG fan base. One concern was the lack of connection back to the local church which seems to be moving in many directions away from SG music. Feeling that most churches are unaware of the quality present in SG, AGM was created to offer a new platform for re-presenting SG (at it’s best) back to the mainstream church and to place AGM in the finest concert halls in the world. The belief was, that if stereotypical perceptions could be challenged, SG would benefit as new fans were created around the world. Many people have no idea how good some of this music is and what variety exists in SG. Elements of inspirational have been considered as a part of this “reach” back to the church, because to a degree, many SG artists cross the inspo line on a regular basis. This is good for SG because it opens the “church” door for them to be reminded of how much they like SG done really well. Since “really well” is “really important” in this effort, AGM has sought to manage this brand (as other strong brands have done…ex. Gaither)
by creating a criteria for those who participate. Those criteria are designed to qualify an artist as someone able to represent the AGM brand in this important effort. One of those criteria is that an artist hold a standardized ministry endorsement; NQC chose the CMP standard for the AGM Certification of artists. They also contracted CMP to administrate the certification process since CMP had a qualification model in place.
    CMP occasional licenses the AGM brand, as any promoter is welcome to do, upon qualification, for events such as the recent Carnegie Hall production.
    Many artists have been frustrated by this, but they have not considered why this is good for all SG artists. If interest is stimulated in a new market, everyone ultimately wins.
    So, many artists can pursue the CMP Endorsement, but may not be right for the AGM Certification. Every AGM Artist must hold the CMP Endorsement as a beginning point in their consideration for participating in AGM, then they must meet other requirements for certification.
Keep in mind that every music label or brand has a process for determining who participates and helps their cause.
The AGM brand elements are just more public and offered on an open platform which has led to more scrutiny.
Hope this helps answer some of your questions about the differences between AGM and CMP Artists.

  19. John wrote:


    and one more thing,


    Merry Christmas everyone and may our wonderful Lord and Savior be with you in ‘08.

  20. Steve Randall wrote:

    Wow! Cynicism and attacking guys that are all on the same team! Wow! Really spreading the “Good News” aren’t we?

    AGM, CMP and NQC are not the enemy and they certainly are not the ANTICHRIST!

    If you don’t like their business model, sit down with all the business heads and show them where they are lacking and give them the right course of action.

    You guys seem to be more qualified than anyone else!

    If you don’t have solutions, stay off the finger pointing wagon!

    People are dying without Christ and our warriors are making fun of each others uniforms!

    Steve Randall
    90.9 KCBI

  21. Jim Webber wrote:

    NQC is on the right track with the changes on the way in 08. AGM is a good concept but won’t survive with the current format.
    CMP is a business and simply that, a business that puts Christian in its name to attract more clients.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked * Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.