I realized an error I made. I was thinking of formation of an amide from a carboxylic acid. What i should of been thinking of is the opposite: formation of a carboxylic from an amide.
So to be clear: From a carboxylic acid to an amide, you absolutely must have an acid. Basic conditions no matter how harsh will not help.
The reverse can swing both ways, however.
THIS is right. Right?