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Good To Be Alive
Monday, February 3 2003

Written by Reggie Zippo.

At the tender young age of 13, Tina Charles (A.K.A. Tina Hoskins, born 3 October, 1955) embarked on a recording career that was both blessed and enriched from the beginning with the help of Elton John. It was 1969 and, even though Elton's own career was still in its infancy, he gave Tina his stamp of approval by providing the background vocals and piano for two songs on one of her first hit singles in the UK ("Good To Be Alive" b/w "Same Old Story" CBS #4658). Tina and Elton were without a doubt introduced to each other during their session work as singers for the now famous low budget sound alike albums, but it was their own solo endeavors that brought these two performers together and into the recording studio for this landmark event. Elton would repeat this gesture many times throughout his career for other budding artists around the world, but it was this particular bonding of talent that is now worth mentioning. Elton and Tina were both relatively unknown recording artists at the time and both gained significant popularity on the charts in later years, but it is surprising that Elton's work with Tina, although very brief on the Elton John timeline, has gone largely unnoticed by even the most avid of Elton's fans (commonly known today as Reg Heads).

Soon after the release of "Good To Be Alive", Elton and Tina went their separate ways, but seven years later they found themselves together again. This time it was as competition on the 1976 UK pop charts. While Elton and Kiki Dee were dueting on "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", Tina's answer was with her disco hit "I Love To Love". Elton of course reigned victoriously by soaring to the number one spot on the charts, but it was a close call to say the least. Tina's hit also peaked at number one, but the year end tally crowned Elton as the overall winner. This would be the last time that these two super stars would ever cross paths. Soon after the disco era came to a screeching halt, Tina's career also faded into obscurity. At least we will always have "Good To Be Alive" and "Same Old Story" as a combined remembrance of the careers launched by these two young talented performers.

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