Carl Albert Hermann Teike was born in Altdamm, Germany, in 1864 and died in 1922. He was the son of a blacksmith. He began his musical training at the age of fourteen, learning to play the French horn, string bass, and percussion. At the age of nineteen he joined the army and became a member of a regimental band. He also began composing marches and other works.
In 1889, at the age of twenty-five, he composed a new march and asked his band conductor if it could be performed. After the first reading the parts were collected, and the bandmaster advised Teike to "throw the manuscript into the fire." Nearly a century later the same march, now known as Alte Kameraden (Old Comrades), outpolled every march ever written by a European composer in an international survey of the world's most popular marches.
Shortly after this experience, Teike resigned from the army and became a city policeman in Ulm, and later in Postdam He married, continued composing on his off-duty time. He later took his family to Landsberg (now known as Gorzow Wielkopolski, Poland) where he took a position with the postal department, and continued his composing. He died there at the age of fifty-eight after an attack of influenza. He wrote over 100 marches, and at least 20 concert works, consisting of waltzes, polkas, and mazurkas. A number of his marches are still extremely popular amongst march lovers.