This vocal group officially formed in 1939 after the breakup of Herivelto Martins and Nilo Chagas' Preto e Branco duo. Adding Dalva de Oliveira completed Trio de Ouro, which had its peak in the next decade with two immortal classics, "Ave Maria no Morro" (Martins) and "Praça Onze" (Martins/Grande Otelo), both released in 1942. From 1936 to 1939, the three of them performed under the name Dalva e a Dupla Preto e Branco, as it appears in the credits of their earliest hits from 1937: the recording of Príncipe Pretinho's "Itaquari" and "Ceci e Peri." In 1938, when Martins and Oliveira were already living together, the trio was hired by Rádio Mayrink Veiga, where they were given the name Trio de Ouro by César Ladeira. The denomination only appeared in their 1939 recording of "Quem Mora na Lua" (Pretinho) and "Madalena Se Zangou" (Sinval Silva e Santos), even if Carmen Miranda's 1938 recording of Martins' "Meu Rádio e Meu Mulato" already brought credit to Miranda and Trio de Ouro.
The starting point of the trio's national success came in the late '30s, when they performed in Bahia, having had to do five encores of a signature tune written by Martins that was developed into the samba-canção "Senhor do Bonfim," recorded by the trio in 1947. After leaving the Rádio Mayrink Veiga, the trio worked at Rádio Clube do Brasil, being hired by the most prestigious Rádio Nacional in 1942. The trio was dissolved in 1950 with the separation of the couple. Soon afterwards, Martins invited singer Noemi Cavalcanti beginning a new phase that ended in 1952, when new changes in the formation occurred. The new trio was Martins, Raul Sampaio, and Lourdinha Bittencourt. They were hired by Rádio Nacional and toured through Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Peru, successfully recording several songs (like "Sereno," "Índia," "Saudades da Mangueira," and others) until its permanent dissolution in 1957.