The Civil War Draft Riots set the city aflame for an entire week, starting on July 13, 1863. The weariness of a lingering war, paired with pro-South sentiments held by some New Yorkers, ignited a conflict over a military draft that sentenced working class men -- many newly arrived immigrants -- to a grisly fate.
"They say that so-called twelve-bar stuff is the black man's blues and country western of that day was the white man's blues, but there's a very thin line between the two musics. Only difference is the beat, and the bars to some extent, but the stories of happiness, sadness, being lonesome. All that was the same."