George Canyon life and biography

George Canyon picture, image, poster

George Canyon biography

Date of birth : 1970-08-22
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Nova Scotia, Canada
Nationality : Canadian
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-01-10
Credited as : Country music singer, ,

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George Canyon is a Canadian country music singer. He was runner up Nashville Star 2 in 2004. George Canyon grew up in Nova Scotia in Canada, born with the name Fred George Lays. When he was 5, his parents built him a three-quarter-sized acoustic guitar and taught him the essential chords. By fifth grade, he had made his debut at the school variety show, singing "The Rose" and "A Hard Day's Night."

At 12, he joined the Air Cadets, which offers a first step to young Canadians who want a military career. However, at 14, he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, and Canadian law prevented diabetics from obtaining a pilot's license. Though frustrated, Canyon then decided to pursue a career in health care, to help other diabetics.

Accepted at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, as a pre-med student, he was soon distracted when a recruiter for an officer cadet training program told him that the rules had changed and diabetics were cleared to fly. Exhilarated, he plunged into the program, only to learn that he had been misinformed. The law hadn't changed after all.

He returned to class and auditioned for a minor chorus role in Camelot but was instead given the role of King Arthur. Some members of a country rock band heard him sing, offered him a job, and he spent the next six years touring with them. When the band broke up, Canyon briefly tried to return to a more "normal" life.

He was hooked, however, and soon was doing shows again, this time under his own name. Married by this time and with two young children, he admits to being stretched between love for his family and his musical ambitions. For nine years he worked around the clock, sometimes holding down as many as three jobs, playing gigs at night, producing and engineering for other artists in his home studio and working by day as a police officer.

He still worked toward a music career. A burgeoning friendship with singer Big Al Downing resulted in Canyon recording a demo album, Ironwolf. Downing set up a recording session in Nashville and arranged to get him in front of former RCA executive Freddie May. The demo didn't catch May's attention, but May gave Canyon a chance to show him something else. On a 12-string guitar, Canyon played some of his other compositions including "The Shaft," a song he penned about his family's experiences in Nova Scotia's coal mines. The tune prompted May to arrange for a new recording session in Nashville. The result was Canyon's eponymous debut album.

In 2003, he auditioned for Nashville Star and nearly won. (Brad Cotter took the title.) Shortly after the show's last episode of the season, Universal South Records signed him and released his debut album, One Good Friend, in 2004.

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