Mary Kaye, a Hawaiian guitarist and singer who headed the "Mary Kaye Trio" and kicked off Las Vegas' 24-hour lounge scene, died Saturday of respiratory and heart failure, her nephew told The Associated Press. She was 83.
Kaye, born Mary Kaaihue, was the daughter of Johnny "Ukulele" Kaaihue, a musician who was a descendant of Hawaii's royal family.
Kaye and her trio, made up of older brother Norman Kaye and Frank Ross, began playing deep into the night at Las Vegas' Frontier casino-hotel in the 1950s, John Kaye said. That started a trend among casinos which created lounges in the bar area open around the clock to keep the gamblers entertained.
She became the first woman guitarist to have a guitar named after her, the Fender Mary Kaye Stratocaster, reports AP.
Norman Kaye, 84, is the only surviving member of the trio, said John Kaye, his son. Ross died in California in 1995.
The group recorded 13 albums, 21 singles, made 22 appearances on television and played on four movie soundtracks, John Kaye said. The trio's albums included "Night Life" (1966), "Our Hawaii" (1962), and "A Night in Las Vegas" (1952).
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