Written and first recorded (as “(You Got to Have) Friends”) by Buzzy Linhart (1970).
Hit version by Better Midler (US #40/MOR #9 1973).
From the wiki: “‘Friends’ (also titled ‘(You Got to Have) Friends’) was written by Buzzy Linhart and Mark ‘Moogy’ Klingman and was first recorded by Linhart in 1970. Bette Midler was one of Linhart’s close friends during the early 1970s. While rehearsing for an audition for a Broadway show called Mirror Cracked, Linhart sang ‘Friends’ to Midler.
“After hearing the song, Midler asked Linhart if she could sing the song during a show that she was performing at the Continental Baths in New York. Soon after, Midler recorded the song (twice!) on her debut album The Divine Miss M, and released the song as a single backed with ‘Chapel of Love‘.
“‘Friends’ might be Linhart’s best-known composition but he also wrote the acid-folk classic ‘The Love Is Still Growing’ for ex-girlfriend Carly Simon. Linhart also played vibraphone on the Jimi Hendrix song ‘Drifting’ and drums on a live jam-session with Hendrix, Noel Redding and Al Kooper, which included ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, at an Uptown NYC club called ‘The Scene’ in 1969.”
Bette Midler, “Friends” live performance @ Continental Baths, NYC (1971):
Bette Midler, “Friends” (1973):