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When stars align, you evoke Patsy Cline
Clermont resident with European music success settles into small-town life
0527AngelaWhite
Angela White spent years touring internationally as a country singer.

0527AngelaAUD

Angela White sings a bit of Patsy Cline's "Sweet Dreams."

If you heard Angela White's voice wafting through the streets of Nashville, you could mistake it for a hauntingly beautiful recording of country music legend Patsy Cline.

White's honey-smooth vocals and soul-stirring depth have resonated with classic country music fans worldwide.

Although White spent years touring nationally and enjoys widespread acclaim in Europe and Australia for her 2004 album "Black and White," she's relatively unknown in Clermont, her new hometown.

"I'm real big in Australia. They love me there," she said. "I also get a lot of mail from Danish people. I can't read what it says, but it's real nice. Nobody in the U.S. knows who I am."

White relocated two years ago from Nashville, where for several years she recorded with the bar-turned-record-label Tootsie's.

"Black and White" features five remakes of classic country songs and five originals. In 2004, the album ranked No. 3 on the European Country Music Association charts for three straight weeks. White even had two songs on Europe's Top 40 Country Billboard at the same time.

White cites Cline as her greatest inspiration.

"I love Patsy Cline," she said. "I think she was the best that ever was."

From California to Mississippi to Georgia, White has spent many a night on stage singing "Walking After Midnight," "Back in Baby's Arms," "Sweet Dreams" and the ever-famous Cline standard, "Crazy."

In between revues such as Helen's Oktoberfest version of "A Tribute to Patsy Cline," where White sang the lead role, she spends her days coordinating weddings and marrying off smitten couples at Magnolia Terrace in Helen.

"I feel like Las Vegas," she said. "We're really busy during Oktoberfest."

White hails from Meridian, Miss., home of the yodeling "Father of Country Music" Jimmie Rodgers.

Unlike Rodgers, White said she can't yodel.

"I just slide," she said. "I'm more of ‘Your Cheatin' Heart,' Hank Williams Sr. tour."

At first listen, it sounds like White has been singing before she could talk. But she said her parents are both deaf, and she didn't even speak until age 4.

She began singing in the church choir, and in high school she said she realized she was born to sing.

"Someone told me when I was doing a revival in Mississippi, ‘It's like God gave you your parents' voice,'" she said. "And it seems true."

She spent much of 2004 and 2005 on the road, when she opened for the likes of Gretchen Wilson and Kris Kristofferson.

White said she moved to the green hills of Georgia to take time off from touring and to spend more time with her two teenage children.

You can take the girl out of Nashville, but you can't take Nashville out of the girl - White's still got that country music twang in her heart and performs regularly around the Southeast.

She will portray Patsy Cline in Eureka Springs, Ark., on June 21 in a Nashville Legends Production. And earlier this month, she lent her voice to a Relay for Life fundraiser at Cleveland Baptist Church. She said her mother has had liver cancer and the cause is one that's close to her heart.

"I just brought my band in a can and dressed up and went out there," she said.

White said she has two groups of pickers who accompany her - one group in Helen and another in Nashville.

Local country music fans clamoring for an evening of White's sweet melodies might not have to wait until October to see her on stage with her cowboy hat.

She's working on new songs now, and hopes to have a new album finished this winter.

Even with a new album in the works, White said a European tour isn't in the stars anytime soon.

"I've exceeded all my goals," she said. "I've made my dreams come true. If I can just get an injection of it every once in a while, I'm happy with that."

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