Rick Feingold holds a B.A. in History and Business from Rutgers and an M.B.A. from Penn State. He has 30 years of teaching experience, currently teaching “American Business History” and “The Air Force in World War II” at Bergen Community College. He also teaches at Ridgewood Community School and Emerson Community School. He has lectured at over fifty local libraries and has written for the Boston Herald and Christian Science Monitor.
The Girl from Ipanema and the Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim
The Bossa Nova sound originated in Rio de Janeiro, home to the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. The Girl from Ipanema won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. Rio, a city of contrasts, features one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the pre-Lenten celebration Carnival, and striking favelas. The city comes alive through the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, including the Sinatra recordings, Sergio Mendes, and Elis Regina.
Cornelius Vanderbilt: The First Tycoon
Cornelius Vanderbilt began operating his own ferry in New York Harbor at the age of 16. He would work from dawn until dark ferrying passengers between Staten Island and the tip of Manhattan. The tiny business would grow into a massive steamship company. Vanderbilt would undercut his competitors by pricing his services so low that he would drive them out of business. Eventually, he built a railroad empire from New York to Chicago and the First Grand Central Station at 42nd Street.
Propaganda Music and Film of World War II
The Allies utilized films, music, posters, cartoons, and even comic books in a propaganda effort to increase support for the war effort in America and abroad. President Franklin Roosevelt created the Office of War Information in 1942 to control all communications coming into and out of the United States. This program features the Three Stooges short You Natzy Spy! and the German propaganda band Charlie and His Orchestra.
Hamilton Returns to Broadway, Fall 2021
Today, Hamilton, a ground-breaking musical featuring Black and Latino actors playing the founding fathers, is the hottest ticket on Broadway. Hamilton, who as an immigrant became the first Secretary of the Treasury and founded the U.S. financial system, died at the hands of Vice President Aaron Burr upon the dueling grounds in Weehawken, NJ. The class features music from the Broadway production tied together with the history behind each song. Bonus: Hamilton at the White House, Hamilton on Jeopardy, the Tony awards, the Stephen Colbert Show, and Some Good News. NEW!
Motown Records and Berry Gordy
Berry Gordy wrote the Jackie Wilson hit Lonely Teardrops but barely made any money. So he started his own record company named “Motown”. The label played an important role in the racial integration of popular music, achieving crossover success. Motown would launch the careers of Diana Ross & the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, and The Jackson Five. The class will feature classic videos of the early years of Motown music.
The Air Force in World War II
This class will cover the United States Air Force in World War II. Topics include the B-17 bomber, American propaganda including the Three Stooges’ short You Nazty Spy!, The Great Escape, Skippy Smith – a black daredevil parachutist stuntman who founded the American Parachute Company with “Rochester” Eddie Anderson, and Hollywood and the Air Force. The final session will cover the “Escape from Behind Enemy Lines” account of how the instructor’s own father, Louis Feingold, a B-17 navigator, escaped enemy capture with the help of the French Underground after his plane was shot down in 1943 over occupied France.