Elvis would frequent the Trio performances while he was in Vegas and watch from backstage. The late night place to be was at a performance given by the Trio. No two shows were ever the same. The comedic genius of Frank Ross kept the audiences rolling in the aisles all night long. The musicians that passed through the ranks of the Trio were the greatest World Class Players of all time. Robert Smale, Buck Monari, Ray Brown, Gus Mancuso, Ernie “Dirty Ern” DiGilio, Chuck “Snake” DeLora, Gus Gustufson were some of the Trio alumni greats. Sammy Davis, Dean Martin, Lenny Bruce, and other musicians would drop by nightly and hop on stage. The Trio were the stars and were featured on soundtracks of Paramount Pictures “Bop Girl Goes Calypso” and Columbia Pictures “Cha, Cha, Cha Boom!”
In 1954, a Fender Guitar representative approached Mary for a picture of her with the first ever Custom Fender Stratocaster Guitar backstage between performances. The International Musicians Magazine advertised it as being used exclusively by the Mary Kaye Trio. They were to appear in the Cha Cha Crazed film by Sam Katzman called “Cha, Cha, Cha Boom” & once again the guitar surfaced on the set of Columbia Pictures in the hands of Mary Kaye performing with the Trio in full color CinemaScope. Guitar enthusiasts around the world began to refer to the Fender Stratocaster as ” The Mary Kaye Strat ” for obvious reasons. One problem persisted, Mary played and favored her D’Angelico guitars, hand crafted for her by John D’Angelico himself. The ad that wouldn’t go away then took on another aspect of truth. All the amplifiers from that point on were Fender amps supplied by Fender for the tenure of the Trios career, so the add was true from the amplifier aspect. In 2002, The Fender company honored Mary for her contribution to the success of the #1 selling Strat in their catalog with a custom made Mary Kaye Stratocaster with a special maple tiger striped neck inscribed on the neck plate with her name from her friends at Fender Guitar. In 2005, they endorsed her with a Limited Signature Mary Kaye Tribute Stratocaster .