A! Magazine for the Arts

Hayden Spangler

Hayden Spangler

Hayden Spangler enjoys playing and writing music

February 26, 2024

Hayden Spangler was born into a musical family who influenced his musical journey.

“My great uncle plays and sings in a local band. Both papaws play guitar and sing a little. My dad plays guitar, and both my uncles play. One plays banjo, bass and accordion. The other plays drums, guitar and some bass,” he says.

Hayden, who plays the guitar, is an instructor in the Junior Appalachian Musician Kids program at the Birthplace of Country Music and his family helped there as well.

“The head instructor and my great uncle are friends and play in a band together. I got into JAM Kids through them,” Hayden says.

His family are his biggest influences. Outside his family, his musical inspirations are Merle Haggard, The Highwaymen and Marty Stuart. Country music is his favorite genre, especially music from the 1950s through the 1990s.

“Music means a lot to me. Due to early health issues, I never played sports like a lot of kids do. For me, music was the alternative.

“One of my highlights was gaining the confidence to play with my great uncle and the people he’s in a band with. He tried to get me to play with him when I was younger, but for a long time, I did not have the confidence to play and sing in front of other people. As I have gotten older, the fear of playing in front of people has kind of dissolved. That does not mean that it has completely gone away, but I have a lot more confidence now than before.

“I would like to have a career in music. However, I do not think it would be performing live and writing songs. That’s more of a hobby. I am thinking more along the lines of giving music lessons or working in a music store.

“I enjoy writing songs and playing with other musicians, whether that be with the members of the band my great uncle is a member of or just around the house. Some of my original songs include ‘Talking to a Wax Johnny Cash,’ which I wrote about a personal experience my great-uncle had in the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville Tennessee; ‘Tennessee Trucker,’ which I wrote with my dad and great-uncle about a friend of ours who is a retired truck driver; and ‘Ten Long Years’ which I wrote with my grandpa,” Hayden says.

He is the 18-year-old son of Matthew Spangler and Kayla Wright. He was born in Nashville a few miles from the well-known Bluebird Café, but to him home is in Bristol, Tennessee. He attends Tennessee Online Public School.