I’ve been to several Michael W. Smith concerts in the last 20 years and Friends is always part of his set. Friends is a song that he co-wrote with his wife Deborah. Early on Debbie showed her gift for writing poetry, so after they married he helped her transform her gift into writing lyrics for his music. Together they co-wrote most of Michael W. Smith’s debut album, including “Great Is the Lord” and “Friends.” After the birth of their first son, Debbie’s directed her energies into being a mother.
Michael W. Smith recounted the creation of Friends, saying it was for a friend moving out of town:
“He (Bill Jackson) was part of a group that we had a little bible study we had that he’s moving away,” he said. “And we were all having a get together that night and she said, ‘Man, we should write, we should do something for Bill.’ Bill Jackson was his name. ‘And we should write him a song.’ I said, ‘Great, we’ll write him a song and send it to him.’ And she said, ‘I think we should write it this afternoon.’ And I thought she had lost her mind.”
And then 30 minutes later I was outside, she walked out and handed me this lyric,” Michael continued. “and it was the words to ‘Friends.’ And I went inside to the piano and in three and a half minutes wrote the melody and we played it for Bill that night, and everybody cried.
About Michael W. Smith
Michael Whitaker Smith was born on October 7, 1957. He is an American Christian musical artist who has charted on the contemporary Christian charts and mainstream charts. His greatest success in mainstream on the mainstream charts was with “Place in This World” (1991) which hit No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Over the course of his career, Michael W. Smith has sold more than 18 million albums. He is also an American Music Award recipient, a three-time Grammy Award winner, and has earned a total of 45 Dove Awards.
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