The Barleycorn was formed in 1971, in the North of Ireland and reined for many years as the top rebel ballad group. The Barleycorn were far from a one-note rebel band, as the group recorded a wide range of ballads and tunes, many reaching the top of the Irish charts.
The original group consisted of Paddy McGuigan, Liam Tiernan, Brian McCormick and John Delaney. Over the years the band saw many changes in its line-up, including stints featuring Paddy Sweeney and the late, great Derek McCormack, with John Delaney as anchor throughout the group's entire life span.
In January, 1996 "The Barleycorn" played its last gig. John Delaney moved Cleveland, and after the demise of "The Barleycorn", teamed up with Alec DeGabriele to form the " New Barleycorn".