While serving in the military during World War II, he met guitarist Al Viola and bassist Lloyd Pratt, with whom he formed a trio. After the war's end they performed together in the style of the Nat King Cole Trio, scoring a number of hits in the late 1940s, including "The Three Bears", "Walkin' My Baby Back Home", and "All of Me". The trio appeared in the films A Song Is Born, Big City, Lullaby of Broadway (with Doris Day) and Romance on the High Seas (Doris Day's first film, in 1948).
In the early 1950s, Cavanaugh had a program, Page Pages You, on the short-lived Progressive Broadcasting System., Additionally, the trio played on Frank Sinatra's radio program, Songs by Sinatra, and on The Jack Paar Show.
The trio appeared in the 1958 horror movie, "Frankenstein's Daughter", and on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on October 7, 1965 in Hollywood (and rebroadcast on October 9, 1966), playing Cole Porter's "Love for Sale" at a brisk tempo. In his introduction to the performance, Carson recalled hearing Cavanaugh play at "The Captain's Table" when Carson was getting started in television on the west coast. He added, "I think he's one of the fine, fine jazz pianists around".
Cavanaugh played in Los Angeles nightclubs through the 1990s, both in a trio setting (with Viola for many years) and as a septet, the Page 7. He recorded with Bobby Woods & Les Deux Love Orchestra. He recorded for MGM, Capitol, RCA, Star Line, Tiara, and Dobre Records over the course of his career, releasing his final trio album, Return to Elegance, in 2006.
- Is Alive (Dobre Records DR1038, 1978)
- Next Page (Dobre Records DR1046, 1978)
- Page Two (1993)
- Page Cavanaugh dies at 86; pianist-singer led Southland jazz trio
- Scott Yanow, Page Cavanaugh at Allmusic
- Page Cavanaugh, Leader of Jazz Trio, Dies at 86
- Jazz Pianist-Singer Page Cavanaugh Dies at 86. CTV News, December 24, 2008.
- "WCFC Music Shows To Offer Wide Choice". The Raleigh Register. November 26, 1950. p. 14. Retrieved September 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Schaden, Chuck (Spring 2009). "Necrology for 2008". Nostalgia Digest. 35 (2): 55–59.