Throughout the 1950s Kaye played bebop jazz guitar in dozens of nightclubs around Los Angeles with many noted bands including Bob Neal's jazz group, Jack Sheldon backing Lenny Bruce, Teddy Edwards and Billy Higgins.
By her own account Kaye got into lucrative studio work "accidentally" in late 1957 with Sam Cooke. A few years later, when a bass player failed to show for a session at Capitol Records in Hollywood, she was asked to fill in on what was then often called the Fender bass.
Throughout the 1960s, she played bass on a significant percentage of records appearing on the Billboard Hot 100, although she was almost wholly unknown to the general public at the time.
Kaye played bass on many of the Beach Boys hit recordings, including "Good Vibrations", "Help Me, Rhonda", "Sloop John B" and "California Girls"