Canadian country singer George Canyon was born Fred Lays Jr. on August 22, 1970. He grew up in Fox Brook, Pictou County, Nova Scotia. His first guitar was a gift from his mother and father, who made the instrument for him when he was four years old. Before he reached his teens, Canyon was a proficient guitarist and giving instruction to others. Like fellow Canadian singers Gil Grand and Paul Brandt, Canyon studied pre-med before he was drawn to a career in country music. He even spent time as a hospital orderly, among his other odd jobs, but a foray into musical theater at school led to a change of plans.